by Jeff Fiedler
Albums from the Lost & Found is a regular feature on thegreatalbums.com in which contributor Jeff Fiedler reviews and helps us rediscover great pop albums that seem to have been lost to time.
Unlike Page, who made his mark as a songwriter before putting the spotlight on his own performing chops, Cathy Dennis first became known as a pop/dance vocalist, garnering her first major hit as the featured vocalist on D Mob’s club hit “C’mon and Get My Love” from the now-forgotten Meryl Streep-Roseanne Barr film She-Devil. The independently-released song crossed over to the pop charts and made it all the way to #10, helping Dennis to land a label deal of her own with Polydor, Dennis making her solo debut with 1990’s Move to This.
A dance/house classic, Move to This largely sticks to the same winning formula that had made “C’mon and Get My Love” – which impressively is included here in its hit form – such a hit, and there are two other early ‘90s club classics contained here in the Top Ten hit “Just Another Dream,” the chorus of which sports the unmistakable background vocals of Rick Astley (“Never Gonna Give You Up,” “Together Forever”), and the wildly catchy “Touch Me (All Night Long),” which stopped just one spot shy of reaching the top of the Hot 100.
Dennis also gets a hand from one of the biggest disco legends of all, Chic co-founder Nile Rodgers (who famously also produced Diana Ross’ diana, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, and Madonna’s Like a Virgin), who produces two memorable cuts here, “Everybody Move” (co-written with Terry Britten, who’d written Cliff Richard’s first American Top Ten hit, “Devil Woman,” as well as a long string of hits for Tina Turner, including her chart-topping “What’s Love Got to Do with It”) and “My Beating Heart.”
Perhaps the most appealing and eye-opening cut of all here, though, is the gorgeous “Too Many Walls” (jointly penned by Dennis and The Art of Noise’s Anne Dudley), which breaks away from the dance grooves of cuts like “Just Another Dream” to slow the tempo down to a more gentle sway and allow Dennis to sing a melody so lovely that you imagine that Expose’s Jeanette Jurado – a fabulous singer in her own right and one who could have handled this song just as capably as Dennis – had to have been jealous to not get first crack at it.
The follow-up disc, 1993’s Into the Skyline, would yield a minor Top 40 hit in “You Lied to Me,” but would sell poorly, Dennis garnering more attention that year for providing background vocals on PM Dawn’s Top Ten hit “Looking Through Patient Eyes,” and after a third and final solo outing, the more pop/rock-oriented Am I the Kinda Girl?, a left-field excursion that found Dennis collaborating with the likes of XTC’s Andy Partridge and future Robbie Williams co-writer Guy Chambers and covering the Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset,” Dennis would abandon performing.
Yet she never left the music world, instead starting a new career as a behind-the-scenes songwriter for other artists, racking up an extraordinary number of hits in the process, including S Club 7’s “Never Had a Dream Come True,” Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Before Your Love,” Jonas Brothers’ “Paranoid,” Kris Allen’s “No Boundaries,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl,” and Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”